Monday, September 28, 2009


Family---you gotta love family!

My Uncle Walt turned 90 last week. Here's a picture of him taken at his party on Sunday. No, really...this IS Uncle Walt. Does he ride Harley's? I doubt it. Does he usually dress like this? No, I don't think so. He always says to me, "How's my niece doing?" I think it's because he can't remember my name! He loves me, but sometimes he has other things on his mind. Uncle Walt was a teacher and counselor at Redlands High School (from which I graduated in 1970) , a teacher at San Bernardino Valley College (graduation: 1972) and ran the Walt Anderson Swim School teaching hundreds of Southern Californian kids to swim. he also coached swimmers and some of them made it to the Olympics. Congratulations Uncle Walt, Happy 90th Birthday!

Friday evening my Dad and his lovely wife, Willa Mae, arrived for a quickie visit. They had spent a week in Central Oregon on holiday. they took a long lunchtime visit with my brother in Eugene and then made a very quick trip to Eureka. Dinner and an early evening full of catching up.
Saturday we packed a ton of fun into the day. We went to Costco and filled up our carts with giant packs of stuff...TP, paper towels, flats of water & soda, huge bag of vegetable chips, steaks, peppers, lettuce....they have it all at Costco and in mega-quantities only. I caught this picture of Sydney and Great Grandma Willie in the parking lot. I thought it was sweet.
We hit the recycling center and then off to Sequoia Park. This is a city park just down the street from our house. The neatest thing about this park is that it is a little forest in the center of town. The road through the park winds around and down into a ravine with a duck pond at the bottom.
When my girls were smaller we often took a bunch of old bread to feed the ducks in the pond. What great memories......and now we occasionally take Sydney to feed those ducks. On Saturday, Liz, Sydney and I took Dad and Willie. We had a bag of bread and found some buns left by earlier feeders. Currently there are about 9 male mallards and 1 female and one goose. The goose didn't come over from the little island in the center of the pond but the mallards were eager eaters. Willie kept throwing to the female....she felt that the "boys" were eating more than their share.
We had a wonderful barbecue for dinner: fillets, grilled mushrooms & red peppers and green salad. I wish I had taken a picture of the awesome Strawberry Shortcake Liz made for dessert. Yum!
After dinner we played wouldn't be a visit without a game of Shanghai Rummy.

Great-grandpa had a chance to chat with Jakob & Sadies when we Skyped to Minnesota. They were excited as they hadn't seen him since February.
But the visit was over and on Sunday morning Dad and Willie drove off....hope to see you you both!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Eight Years

Today is September 22 and that means that Scottie Dog Quilts has entered it's 9th year of business.

Eight years....on September 17, 2001 we opened our doors. That's just a week after 9/11. You know, THE 9/11.
I had never worked in retail, didn't know much about owning a store, but I knew the quilting world pretty well having been a full-time quilting instructor for about 10 years. I had taught quilting to children in schools. I had taught in other people's shops and at guilds and had held 3 pretty successful quilting retreats. With the encouragement of my family (especially Mr. Scottie Dog) and not nearly enough capital we opened our doors and were welcomed by the Quilters of Humboldt County.

The first year or so was pretty tough. I was the main one working in the store and when I got home I still had paperwork and computer work to do. More than once I told Mr. Dog that I felt as if I was trying to run through jello. My family helped out as much as possible and then Liz came on board full-time. Ah, ha! A college trained gal with a head for business! Together we make a good team. She helped get us on track and more professional, I knew the quilting world. I taught her how to order fabric, she taught me how to write an Employee Handbook. Together, with daughter Sarah helping out at retreats and Beka working on the website and Mr. Scottie Dog doing the financial paperwork we have grown from a small shop to a world-wide presence in the Quilting World. We have a wonderful staff that helps us out. Without them we couldn't do it at all! Many, many thanks to Judy, Margie, Geri, Katie,Lori, Laura and Stephanie! Life has it's ups and downs and the Scottie Dog Family has lost a couple members and gained some new ones as the grandbabies continue to come

All of you have become our family too! With your support and friendship you have supported us in good times and in painful ones. Liz and I agree that the best part of this business are the wonderful people who have become our, friends & family!
We've met many of the famous people in the quilting world....but none of them compares to you!
Thanks again for eight wonderful years.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Super Saturday

Today I had a Super Saturday. How about you?
Here's how my Saturday stacked up:
  • I got to sleep in.
  • I ate a healthy breakfast: oatmeal & dried blueberries & slivered almonds.
  • I spent a little time on the computer, then watched Survivor on line.
  • Set up my Featherweight (Nellie Belle) and sewed on two quilting projects, two block swaps and an apron for a friend.
  • Watched movies while I sewed (Quigley Down Under & Nottinghill)
  • Forgot to eat lunch
  • At 3 pm got an invite to a Mom/Daughter night out at the movies!
  • Had a string cheese and a Diet Coke.
  • 6:15 pm drove to Faith Center for Sat. night Church (Bill is playing accordion at the Tonnini Ranch for A Taste of Willow Creek tomorrow)
  • 8 pm got dropped off at Liz's house and off to Broadway Cinema to see Love Happens with several Mother/Daughter pairs. (The movie was cute.)
  • Ate popcorn....figured I hadn't had much to eat today I could splurge.

  • Home to Mr. Scottie Dog....he was watching TV with his eyes closed....a hug and a kiss.

It was a Super Saturday. How about yours?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pretty in Pink

What could be better than a Pink Princess Party? My friend Jen Duncan invited Sydney and I to her granddaughter, Kadence's birthday party on Saturday. When we arrived the table was set. Can you imagine any more perfect setting for 11 little girls, er, princesses?

As they sat down they were each given a princess art project to do with their colored markers.

After everyone had arrived, Princess Shoshona arrived! Oh, my...she had a Princess Wand for everyone and got right to work painting faces.

Everyone waited patiently for their turn....finally it was Sydney's (Snow White) turn. She asked for a unicorn on her face....when Princess was done she sprinkled Fairy Dust on each girl.

Faces properly painted all the princesses moved outdoors for some "Princessly" moves. Oh, my, they moved so gracefully!
While the dancing was taking place, Grandma Jen was setting up the cupcake tree. Umm, yum! The frosting on these cupcakes was made from melted white chocolate & powdered sugar. Killer!
Each little princess then found her place again at the table, they sang THE song of the day, ate their cupcakes and chattered away.

After cupcakes there was a Disney Princess Castle pinata and opening of gifts. Kadence remembered her "thank yous" as any proper princess would. Finally each pretty princess posed with Princess Shoshona and Grandma Jen printed out the photos and every little girl took home their photo in a Pink frame shaped like a Princess Crown.
Saying "Thank you, Good bye" and with a generous goodie basket on her arm, princess wand in hand, Sydney and I made our way to the car at the end of the party. She had her photo frame in her hand and leaned towards me and said, "Grandma, did you know she was a REAL princess!"

What a wonderful day for a little princess! Happy Birthday Kadence and thanks, Grandma Jen!

Monday Mural

I've been meaning to start this feature for a long time. We live in Eureka, CA in Humboldt County. It used to be that Humboldt County was known for several things....the fabulous Redwood Forests, Salmon & crab fisheries, our fine artist I think most people think of pot growers. Humboldt Gold is supposed to be premium stuff grown in remote forested areas and grow houses. I'm not proud of that, but we can celebrate the fabulous artists in our area. Quilters, of course abound, many of them winning awards at the big shows: Houston, Padducah, Pacific International Quilt Fest. and more.

If you tootle around town you can't help but see the murals. I can't even begin to count all the murals we have in Eureka tend to take for granted. So I thought that perhaps each Monday we could look at a mural. Today's mural is in an alley downtown and is called "No Barking Anytime," painted (as are many of our murals) by Duane Flatmo.

I am assuming the windows are often can't tell with a Flatmo mural as they can become part of the mural.

Here's a close-up of the sign.

I'm not sure exactly how old this mural is
but I remember showing my parents this one over 14 years ago.
Duane Flatmo's work is edgy, interesting, humorous and often somewhat "cubist." Each year the artists of our county offer a weekend of "Open Studios" and invite the public into their studios. A couple of years ago we went to Flatmo's studio behind his home. He is fun, talented, generous with his time and so interesting to listen to. He made us feel as if we were the most important people to visit and showed us around. You'll be hearing about Duane Flatmo a lot on Mondays as he has painted many, many murals in Eureka.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Let's go to the Beach for Dinner!

We live on the Northern California Coast, on Humboldt Bay. Cross the Samoa Bridge (State Route 255) to the Samoa Peninsula and you can drive right out onto the sand. When our girls were growing up we tried to eat on the beach at least once or twice a month. Because of Mr. Scottie Dog's business we've always had 4WD pickup trucks so driving on the beach was easy.

We don't go as often now, but I overheard Liz telling someone how much fun it was and thought we should have a "Beach Night." We loaded up the truck after work one day with Liz & family and the Caldwell family. As you can see......we had lots of company. That is if you counted the birds. Not another person in sight. That thin line of land from the center to the left of the photo is the North Jetty off in the distance: the mouth of the bay.

In Eureka you don't go into the ocean when you go to the beach. The water is COLD! We have a lot of surfers here, but they need to wear wet suits because 15 minutes in our cold water and you are dead. That fast! I'm told it's because of an Arctic Current which flows right to our coast. So at the beach you play in the sand, explore and look for shells, interesting pieces of driftwood, watch the seals, otters, crabs or whales.
First off we unloaded the three girls and their toys. Then comes the quilts, the folding chairs and the food. We set up on a huge redwood log/driftwood.

I think we had watermelon, humus & tabbouleh with various chips & veggies, hot dogs & hamburgers and blueberry oatmeal cookies. After dark Liz roasted marshmallows for us all.
Lewis brought his Frisbee Golf gear and as the sun set he and Mr. Dog played a rousing game.
The access gate closes at 9:30 pm so we had to go. Tired, sandy, but satisfied.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Farewell, Sammy!

Yesterday Sam left for college. She stopped by the shop in the morning for a quick hug, a last farewell and to say thank you for a gift a bunch of us gave her last week.

You may remember Samantha. We went to her high school graduation in June. Sammy has so much going for & friends who deeply love her, valedictorian of her class (AND she graduated from JR. college the week before she graduated high school!), brains, beauty and spunk. She left for CalPoly San Luis Obispo yesterday.

Before she left a bunch of us had a going away dinner for her at The Ritz Teppanyaki. There were two grill tables full of us. We are like the big sisters & aunties. Sam first came into our store when she was only 11 years old.

Dinner was so much fun. The cooking of your dinner is the show too! We laughed and laughed. A man at the grill table next to me pointed out there were so many of us and no men. "Where are the guys?" he asked. I told him it was a girl's night out. At that moment a bit of broccoli was flung at my open of these trips I'm going to catch it!

I forgot to take a picture early on, but here is a small portion of my plate. I couldn't begin to count the shrimp on my plate. And I ate the whole thing! Dinner starts out with a small salad with a citrus miso dressing. Yummo! They also serve it as a dipping sauce, it's the yellow one near my plate. Then came miso soup and I got steamed rice (and I put the citrus miso sauce on it too!).

After dinner Crystal presented her daughter with this quilt. It was made from Samantha's T-Shirts & Sweatshirts. Sydney had to run up and check it out too.
We were sooo bad.....after dinner we walked to Bon Boniere for an ice cream cone. I had Coconut Almond Fudge. I really like Coconut ice cream and they make a really good one.

We're rooting for you Samantha! Enjoy college and see you at Christmas. You'll be missed. Keep in touch!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Blueberries for Syd

Yesterday I was asked if I wanted to go Blueberry picking today. With Sydney. AND with two of my bestest friends, Brigitte & Paula. What could I do but say, "Yes, YES, YES!"
When I was in 1st grade, my teacher Mrs. Downs (oh, how I loved her!) read us Blueberries for Sal. Robert McCloskey won a Caldecott Medal for Children's Literature with this book and it certainly became one of my favorites. When my girls were small I made sure to read it to them and they too became fans. Well, it's come full circle because now Liz has read it to Sydney. When we were in Alaska they took a tour from Skagway with a stop on a hill with a wild blueberry patch which Sydney picked "just like Sal."

We picked up Sydney at Pre-School and drove to Wolfsen Farms. This is the end of Blueberry season so the berries weren't all that plentiful ....not like these bushes. But it was fun. And it was hot, too and we don't get hot weather much here in the land of the Redwoods.
Nice to feel the heat.

I googled Blueberries and found this great Blueberry Quilt. It was made by a bunch of great ladies who make a quilt every year for the Blueberry Festival in Machias, Maine. You might want to look at their quilts.
I like the idea of a Blueberry quilt. Mr. Scottie Dog likes blueberry pancakes. So does Sydney. Sydney took home her bag of berries (after grabbing several handfuls of MY hard picked berries!) to share with Mom and Dad. I suspect grandpa will be making blueberry pancakes for Sydney too!